Delhi doctor at USA shot dead by Chinese colleague
WASHINGTON: They are among the most prized immigrants in the US academia from two Asian giants that send them in droves to America. For the most part, Indians and Chinese in the US academia and workplace engage in friendly rivalry with a kind of fierce work ethic that Americans envy and fear. For years, I-C in America has come to mean Indians-Chinese as much as Integrated Circuit.
But the gunshots that rang out on a lovely spring morning in Branford, Connecticut, introduced a terrible bloodstain into this equation. At the end of the shooting, Dr Vajinder Toor, 34, a postdoctoral clinical fellow at the Yale School of Medicine, lay dead in the parking lot outside his home even as his pregnant wife cowered nearby.
Police, who were alerted to the shooting by neighbours, detained Dr Lishan Wang, 44, a Chinese national from Beijing who was fleeing the scene in a burgundy-coloured minivan. He is being charged with murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, carrying a handgun without a permit and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
He is being held on a $2 million bond and will be arraigned in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday.
Authorities suggested the shooting may have been related to spats Dr Wang reportedly had with Dr Toor when they both worked in 2008 at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, a large acute-care hospital. Like Toor, Wang was a member of Kingsbrook's medical residency training program starting in July 2006.
But he was terminated two years later. In a federal lawsuit filed soon after, Wang claimed that the medical staff at the center, including Dr Toor, singled out Chinese residents and humiliated them verbally. The two reportedly had heated exchanges after Toor accused Wang of being delinquent in his duties and ignoring pages and calls from the hospital staff.
''An hour after this heated discussion, Dr Toor then accused Dr Wang of threatening his safety by using hostile body language, although he did not summon security to assist him,'' wire services quoted Wang’s lawsuit as stating. It is one of several allegations of anger and behavioural problems that Wang acknowledges he was cited for while in the program. In the lawsuit, he said he was unfairly labelled excitable, emotional and unable to control his anger.
Some accounts also suggested Wang was distraught because he had a wife with breast cancer and a father with lung cancer.
''Our hypothesis, which the detectives are still working on, is that there was a connection between the victim and the shooter, but not one which was in any way related to Yale,'' Branford Police Lt Geoffrey Morgan told the local media. Police and Yale authorities are evidently sensitive to blood on the campus following the reported homicide last September of another doctoral student in pharmacology who was found dead in the Yale research facility where she worked.
About Dr Vajendra Pal Toor - Murdered NRI doc was 'a person with golden heart'
Toor, 34, was a first-year fellow in the infectious diseases section of the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine. He graduated in 2001 from the Guru Govind Singh Medical College in Faridkot, Punjab, and in 2008 from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York, to where he came after a stint in New Delhi. Toor’s pregnant wife Parneeta Sidhu, who was also shot at by Wang when she came out of their home on hearing the gunshots, reportedly escaped unhurt.
Those who worked with Toor described him as a smart guy who was on a great career track. ''I knew him pretty well. He was one of the doctors we hired to get this new program established. He was a really smart guy,'' Tim Rye, regional director of operations at the Austin Regional Clinic in Texas where Toor worked for a while, told a local paper. ''He was a very motivated guy. This is tough news,'' Rye said.
"We found out about this (incident) yesterday," said Heidi Shalev, a spokeswoman for Austin Regional Clinic, where Toor had last practiced medicine. "It is really unfortunate. Really, really sad."
When he left to do research in infectious diseases at Yale, he had promised his colleagues at Austin Regional Clinic that he would be back when he finished his fellowship.
"He had a golden heart. He was very warm and was an eager, hardworking young doctor," Austin American Statesman paper quoted Hue Nguyen, a clinical nurse manager who worked with Toor in cardiac care, as saying.
"I could always count on him to cover extra shifts. He was a very intelligent guy and very agreeable," said Tim Rye, regional director of operations for Austin Regional.
Toor told Rye that in his spare time he played soccer and enjoyed time with his three-year-old son.
Nguyen recalled how Toor missed his wife and son when they went away to visit family. He showed her pictures of his son and followed their return trip on his iPhone. Toor kept 'telling me how many hours it would be until they would be home,' she said.
"He cared so much about his family," Nguyen said. "It makes me want to cry."
He stood out among doctors for his intimate knowledge of each patient he cared for, knowing 'their situation, just like a social worker,' she said.
Toor's wife Parneeta Sidhu, who yelled 'what are you doing to my husband' before having to dive behind a car because Wang fired wildly at her, told the Daily News she was having trouble coping with her terrible loss.
'I'm devastated,' she was cited as saying. She finally managed to tell her son that his dad was not coming home, according to a relative. 'How do you tell a child their father is gone? It's awful. Just awful,' the relative said.
Re: Delhi doctor at USA shot dead by Chinese colleague
Chinese doc who killed Indian ex-colleague had 1,000 bullets
WASHINGTON: The Chinese doctor who shot dead his former Indian American supervisor after stalking him was found to be carrying 1,000 rounds of ammunition, enough to carry out a massacre.
The suspect, Lishan Wang, 44, was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he shot Dr Vajinder Pal Toor, 34, five times in Branford, Connecticut Monday morning in the parking lot of Toor's condominium complex.
Wang had been fired two years ago from a Brooklyn hospital after a confrontation with Toor, the assistant US attorney Devant Joiner said at the arraignment at New Haven Superior Court.
Police said he also had 1,000 rounds of ammunition, enough for a massacre, New York Daily News said.
Unemployed Wang did not enter a plea or even look up at his arraignment and is being held on $2 million bail. The next date of hearing has been set as May 11.
Joiner said cops found two loaded handguns, printed directions to Toor's home and a photo of the doctor, a former colleague with whom Wang had clashed at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Centre in Brooklyn.
The police report said he also had printouts for two other doctors who were directly involved in Wang's 2008 firing from Kingsbrook.
A neighbour told the Daily News he saw Wang, who lives near Atlanta, sitting in his red 1996 Dodge Caravan outside the home in Branford where Toor lived with his pregnant wife and 3-year-old son. It was 5.30am on Sunday - more than 24 hours before Wang allegedly opened fire.
"He had his window open. I looked right into his face and he looked into mine. His face was expressionless. It creeped me out," Kalani Lopa, 56, was quoted as saying. "He was casing the place. He was stalking that poor family. It's beyond tragic."
Another witness told police that when she saw Wang he appeared to have draped a pink towel over his head.
When Toor, 34, emerged just before 8am on Monday to go to work at Yale Medical School, Wang allegedly got out of his van and shot him five times at point blank range, once to the head.
Toor's wife Parneeta Sidhu, who yelled "what are you doing to my husband" before having to dive behind a car because Wang fired wildly at her, told the Daily News she was having trouble coping with her terrible loss.
"I'm devastated," she was cited as saying. She finally managed to tell her son that his dad was not coming home, according to a relative. "How do you tell a child their father is gone? It's awful. Just awful," the relative said.